Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.
I’d lost track of how many bridges I’d crossed, which was not my first mistake, but one among many. I thought I had been retracing my steps, but must have begun tracing someone else’s. With only an hour until I am due to meet with 30 new students, I can’t find my way back to where I’ve started. A man with a map passes like an angel! I ask if I can take a look. Of course, my map skills are nearly as excellent as my general sense of direction. So I stare at the colored canals and Dutch street names and feel even more distress.
“I’ve got another map,” He digs through his bag. “Here. It’s yours.”
I thank him, but stare at it just as blankly.
“Do you know where you are? We’re HERE.” He marks the map with a blob that resembles a turtle. And, glory, it works. I find my way. I begin to recognize landmarks and find the names from the map on the sides of the buildings.
So I break out helplessly in a grin–a ridiculous one. I’ll make it on time. I’ll have plenty of time! I make my way with growing delight, grinning so much that small children smile at me, grandmas on bicycles smile at me. A man driving a tram gives me a giant wave and a matching grin. Pedestrians waiting at stoplights, clerks at cafes, flower salesmen behind their blooms–the city seems to share my relief, my joy at finding a path back home. Dank je wel!
-Amsterdam, The Netherlands.